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Vice President Kamala Harris Slams Anti-Abortion Legislature on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

by Carmella D'Acquisto

Vice President Kamala Harris was a guest on Wednesday’s The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and she did not hold back her thoughts on the anti-abortion legislation that has plagued our country since the fall of Roe v. Wade last summer. 

“I think it’s the height of irresponsibility, and is in many cases inhumane, what has been happening in states across our country,” said Harris. “States are passing laws that criminalize our health care providers, literally calling for jail time for doctors and nurses who provide reproductive healthcare.”

And these are not empty threats, more and more anti-abortion bills are targeting doctors and healthcare providers

Almost nine months since the fall of Roe, nearly half of the United States have banned, or are likely to ban, abortion practices, according to findings at the Guttmacher Institute. Twelve states are cruelly enforcing a near-total ban on abortion, often without any exception for cases of rape or incest, with confusing and unclear medical exemptions

“Let’s speak clearly about what this means for a person who has just gone through the most vicious violation of their body,” Harris tells Colbert. “The government is telling them they have no autonomy about the decisions they make after surviving such a violent act.” 

Earlier this year, Harris spoke in the heart of DeSantis land, on what would be the 50th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade, about protecting abortion access, even in the face of the Supreme Court’s ruling. That same day, President Joe Biden issued a Presidential Memorandum regarding their efforts to protect access to reproductive healthcare services. 

The memorandum announced actions to protect legal access to medical abortion, asking the Secretary of Health and Human Services, Attorney General and the Secretary of Homeland Security, to consider new guidance to support patients, providers, and pharmacies who wish to legally access and distribute mifepristone—no matter where they live.

There was also a call to safeguard patient wellbeing. Biden wants to protect abortion-seekers who can access legal reproductive care, including medication abortion from a pharmacy, from harm including harassment, physical violence, and threats. 

In a White House briefing last fall, Harris shared that it’s still possible for Congress to protect reproductive care at a national level, by passing a law that federally protects the rights of patients and healthcare providers. 

In her closing remarks about the topic on The Late Show, Harris stated, “One does not have to abandon your faith or deeply held beliefs to agree the government should not be telling her what to do with her body.” 

Top photo: screenshot of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert from their YouTube channel

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